General Question

marinelife's avatar

Has a doctor ever done something special for you or yours? How best to say thanks to this doctor?

Asked by marinelife (62455points) June 27th, 2008

I flew to Seattle three weeks ago when the word was that my 84-year-old mother, in ICU, “probably” would live until I could get there. With her immune system suppressed to help her ITP, she had contracted a particularly virulent form of pneumonia usually only seen in HIV patients.

Her doctor was central to her recovery. He cared enough to find out about her pre-illness lifestyle, which was very healthy and active. (He told us in some cases a patient that age would be allowed to just go.) He cared enough to contact us every single day with a detailed report on her condition, to see us whenever we needed him, to answer all of our questions. He cared enough to bring in a team of specialists including an infectious disease expert, a lung specialist, and later a kidney specialist to deal with issues as necessary.

She is now out the hospital, off oxygen and breathing fine, in a rehabilitation facility with a prognosis for full recovery. I wrote him a thank-you letter expressing our heartfelt thanks as did my sister. He went well beyond the usual level of care and involvement. Is there more that we can do as thanks?

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9 Answers

playthebanjo's avatar

make a donation to a health related charity in his name?

or buy him a big bag of potato chips. drs. love potato chips.

marinelife's avatar

@PtB Hmm, had not considered food. We did get candy for the nursing and other care staff.

shilolo's avatar

@Marina. I’m glad you had a positive experience with the care your mother received, and more importantly, that she is improving from what sounds like a devastating illness. You may think the doctor’s behavior atypical, but I consider your description to be standard of care (speaking as someone who has served both as the central facilitator and as an Infectious Diseases consultant). At least thats how I was trained to behave, and how I envision my ideal interactions with patients. That said, not everyone has the time, dedication, thoughtfulness or compassion to do the things you said he did, and for that he certainly should be praised.

As far as a way to thank him, I think your letters are great. It may be nice to forward your positive impressions to the hospital administration as well. The kinds of thoughts you have certainly weigh into things like “best doctor” awards and promotions, which are not trivial things. Beyond that, I’m not sure you need to do anything more.

There are many people who are cynical about doctors and medicine, but in truth, most doctors find much reward in the helping people, and might actually feel sheepishly embarrassed to receive additional “gifts”.

jballou's avatar

You could also go on Yelp (and any other review resources you can find) and write about your positive experience with him.

And as for sending him stuff, I’m sure the letters you’ve already sent are more then enough, and more then what most people do.

Maybe you could send a gift basket of food or coffee (they would love good coffee, trust me!) to his office though, because as great as he was, every doctor relies on a staff and nurses, so it would be nice to spread the thanks around to all involved.

nikipedia's avatar

Would be interesting to hear some ideas for how to show gratitude in general. Some friends have recently shown me kindness I can never repay.

scamp's avatar

You could have an appreciation plaque made for him to hang in his office. Some patients did that for the podiatrist I worked for and new patients to the office love to see them. It gives them more confidence in him.

marinelife's avatar

@shi Great idea on the letter to the hospital administration. I will implement immediately. Yes, I hesitated on any other sort of gift. He is a professional, after all, and does probably consider it his job. So what about what playthebanjo said. Do doctors love potato chips? (Grin)

@scamp Interesting idea. I think as a patient I might like to see something like that too. I am not sure it applies for a hospital staff physician though.

Thanks to all for the help so far.

@Niki Sounds like an idea for another question. I thought there were some interesting gratitude ideas on this thread.

Knotmyday's avatar

Write a letter to the Seattle Times opinion>letter to the editor.
Even people who feel uncomfortable accepting gifts (re:shilolo) collect clippings. Their parents do, at least.

lindabrowne1's avatar

I sent a basketful of wonderful candies that I put together myself to my favorite doctor when I left Seattle to move cross country. It blew the doctor away.

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